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Author Topic: Xeuá - Revision  (Read 9716 times)
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Rayne (Alýr)
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« on: 01 January 2012, 05:27:38 »

Way overdue, I know, but hopefully more or less accurate now. I went through and did a lot of tweaking and a lot of removing and re-writing. My goal was to make it 1) correct and 2) comprehensible. Hopefully it does that now.

I realize that this may spark some debate, but I hope we can get this all resolved soon, since the site needs a good explanation for the basic "building blocks" of magic.



XEUÁ

According to elven philosophy, Xeuá (elvish = connect) is that which holds everything together. Cár’áll ("magical energy", "natural astral aura") is the substance and quality of everything, but it is Xeuá that helps to define true shape and nature, how all the elements react with one another and how they affect an object or person as a whole. Xeuá therefore is often also refered to as the "in-between", the "medium", the "linkage of things" or simply as the "chain" or "key".

Many - especially the scholars of elven philosophy - believe that Xeuá itself is the manifestation of mutual dependence and realization (and, perhaps, the battle ground) of the two ever-fighting cosmological principles of ahm ("responding", "passive" and soór ("talking", "active"). This relation is introduced in detail in Chapter II of the famous elven myth, the Cárpa’dosía and has been adapted by the Ximaxian mages to found their system of magical categorization on it.

Human philosophers tend to see Xeuá as the “manifested reality” of the elements, as well as that which holds them together. In this way, Xeuá is often also called the “fifth element” or the "element of creation", a transitory element that holds the rest together and gives life and meaning to things that would otherwise have no real life at all. Philosophically spoken, Xeuá represents the category of existence (as defined by Khaelvan III).

It should be noted that, in Ximaxian philosophy, the term “Xeuá” has two associations. One is to the links that hold everything together (which this entry will discuss) and the other is the activity of making those links active (Soór). In opposition to this latter activity is Ecuá (Styrásh for "breaking", "disconnecting"), which is often viewed as the opposite of Xeuá. However, this is more of a slightly hyperbolic description. Everything in the world is connected to everthing else through Xeuá, and these connections cannot be “broken”, but merely turned “ahm.” The Ecuá mages, whose level of magical sophisticate may exceed that of all other Ximaxian mages, create effects by turning Xeuá from soór to ahm.


Qualities of Xeuá

As stated before, Xeuá represents the mutual dependence of the two principles of ahm and soór, the first which describes a link in its passive (listening) state and the second which refers to it in its active (speaking) state. Mages of the Xeuá and Ecuá schools of magic cast spells by changing the quality of a Xeuá (connection) from ahm to soór (if of the Xeuá School) or from soór to ahm (if of the Ecuá School).

Breathing: ahm and soór aren't completely static principles existing within an entity's cár'áll, but this "simplification is mainly necessary to define magic and its predictablity" (Khaelvan III., "Treatise on Xeuá", p.4). Scholars generally agree that ahm and soór constantly shift within an object's cár'áll. Scholars of elven philosophy often refer to this as "breathing". This shifting is often slight and relatively predictable: certain cár'áll tend toward certain states depending on the influences within the cár'áll, including those of the elements and, if applicable, the will. As an example, a rock’s Xeuá (connections) will shift as it becomes hotter near noon (greater fire influence) to colder at night (less fire influence, more water influence). Ximaxian mages and scholars generally prefer to negelect these tendencies, claiming that the "breathing shifts" of ahm and soór do not substantially influence the success of spellcasting.


Ahm: The principle of ahm describes the quality of Xeuá, link, that is listening, or being passive. Through “inactive” Xeuá (connections), the influences inherent in an elemental oún or a relation between certain elemental oún becomes less expressed in an object or person. Making ahm, or inactive, the Xeuá between two wind ounía, for example, may cause the properties of wind (such as lightness) to decrease, making an object heavier. In this way, the qualities of an element are not as prominently expressed in the physical and spiritual properties of that object’s cár'áll.

Making Xeuá ahm does not decrease the element’s potential influence within the cár'áll, as the ounía of that element still reside in the same amount, and could be made more influential again. It is merely not as expressed; its qualities are not manifested in the object or entity they possess. As a closing example, spell targeting a block of ice can make a link (Xeuá) between the water and the earth element weaker by changing the active state (soór) of connection between these two elements to passive (ahm), resulting in a melting of the object.


Soór: The principle of soór describes the quality of Xeuá, link, that is speaking, or being active. Through “active” Xeuá (connections), the influences inherent in an elemental oún or a relation between certain elemental oún becomes more expressed in an object or person. Making soór, or active, the Xeuá between two wind ounía, for example, may cause the properties of wind (such as lightness) to increase, possibly making an object float. In this way, the qualities of an element are more prominently expressed in the physical and spiritual properties of that object’s cár'áll.

If a single element has many active connections within a cár'áll, the qualities of that element or its affinity towards another element will be prominently expressed within an object/entity, both physically and spiritually. Though an element may be more prominent, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the element makes up most of an entity's cár’áll, it merely means the links are speaking, or acting forcibly within the cár’áll.

As a closing example, a spell targeting water can make a link (Xeuá) between the water and the earth element stronger by changing the passive state (ahm) of a connection between these two elements to active (soór), resulting in making the object more solid.


Meta-States: Meta-states refer to the tendency of a Xeuá to change, either from ahm to soór or soór to ahm. This is sometimes referred to as the “quality of the quality” and is used most notably in the sphere of enchantment and curses, where a mage effects the meta-state of an object. However, meta-states have a more “practical” influence on magic and spell casting.

For example, many objects have the tendency to get cold or hot--like a rock left outdoors.The meta-state of the Xeuá that link to the fire and water properties of temperature is soór within the cár'áll. This means it is easy for a mage to make the rock hotter or colder, since the meta-state is active, open to change. However, it’s not natural for rocks to float. The metastate of the Xeuá that link to the wind property of lightness is likely to be ahm within the cár'áll. This means that it is hard to make the rock float, since the meta-state is inactive, closed to change. If a mage manages to change this meta-state, making it soór, the rock is more likely to float, and we say it has been ‘enchanted’ (it is now an enchanted floating rock). It should be noted, though, that meta-states are extremely difficult to change.


Principle of Xeuá

Conservation of Voice: This law relates to the amount of ahm and soór links within a cár’áll, more specifically how much “speaking” there will be in a cár’áll. It states “Always will a harmony exist between ahm and soór in the form of equality.” This means that there will always be the same amount of ahm and soór links in a cár’áll. There will never be a case in which all the links in a person’s cár’áll are all ahm or all soór. As soon as one Xeuá goes from being ahm to soór, another will go from soór to ahm. In this manner, all things are balanced.


Types of Xeuá

Oé’Xeuá: Oé’Xeuá deals with Xeuá linking cár’áll of the same element, such as wind with wind or fire with fire. Elemental mages grow awareness of these “intraXeuá” as they move into spells of the second sphere; they are also often the first kind of Xeuá that mages of the archschools (Xeuá and Ecuá) learn to manipulate.

Vér’Xeuá: Vér’Xeuá refers to Xeuá between two elements, connecting, for example, wind with fire, or earth with water. These links are some of the most complicated because they are difficult to know and control without a firm knowledge of the tendencies and properties of the elements to which they connect.


Xeuá and the Spheres

Xeuá, the connections between every oún, are what makes spells work. Ounía are generally easier to focus on, and so most Ximaxian mages start with the ounía and move out from there. However, when casting a spell, nothing about the ounía in a cár’áll changes. They don’t become bigger or smaller, more or less active, louder or quieter. They remain the same; what changes is the quality of the Xeuá connecting them.

Sphere I: In the first sphere of the elemental schools, mages focus on increasing or decreasing the expression of ounía in a cár’áll. When they do this, energy put into expressing properties of the ounía are funnelled into the Xeuá to change its quality from ahm to soór or vice-versa. However, the mage cannot control what Xeuá become activated--he or she may activate Xeuá links between elements (vér’Xeuá) or those within an element (oé’Xeuá).

Sphere II: In the second sphere of the elemental schools, mages focus on “collecting” or “dispersing” ounía, bringing them together to enhance their properties or separating them to weaken their properties. For mages casting such spells, the focus continues to be on the ounía, but in truth, these mages have more sensitivity to the oé’Xeuá (or the  Xeuá bewteen the ounía of their element) within the cár’áll. Through this sensitivity and manipulation, they can bring about more effective spells.

Sphere III: In the third sphere of the elemental schools, mages focus on “linking” or “breaking” the connection between ounía within a cár’áll to ounía outside of it. This, of course, is not actual “linking” or “breaking”; rather it is changing the meta-states of the Xeuá (links) between ounía of the cár’áll with those not yet part of the cár’áll. The mage must change the meta-state of the Xeuá  to soór, or active, in order to bring the oún into the cár’áll.

Sphere III spells, like those of sphere II, only pertain to oé’Xeuá. An elemental mage never learns how to to affectively manipulate vér’Xeuá or vér’Xeuán meta-states. This is done exclusively in the archschool.


The Xeuágram

The Xeuá gram is a model illustrating the relationship between Xeuá and Ounía (elements, singular = Oún) in a cár’áll. The Xeuágram was created by Xeuatán Khaelvan III in the 9th century, and is still commonly used by students and teachers at Ximax.

All contained within the circle is considered to be the cár’áll, in which is contained those Xeuá (links) and ounía (elements) of which it is comprised. The Xeuágram shows single portions (oún), each oún being one the four elements (Fire, Water, Wind, and Earth). The relationship in quantity is apparent in the diagram (eg the three earths and 1 fire). The Oún is represented by symbols that are defined at the bottom of the Xeuágram.

The Xeuágram also shows the intricate weaving of ahm and soór links (Xeuá). Those that are darker represent soór links, or ‘speaking’ links working in the cár’áll, while ahm represents the ‘listening’ links in the cár’áll.

The arrangement of the oún often has some sort of relavence in determining what’s going on in a Xeuágram. For example, If oún of the same element are made bigger and more defined than the other Oún, it can be assumed that a spell of the first elemental sphere has been cast, which intensifies or removes intensity from a certain element. If the same elements are seen in the center of the cár’áll connected through strong soór links, it can be assumed the a spell of the second sphere has been cast, which bring oún closer together in the cár’áll. If elements outside the cár’áll (represented by being outside the circle), are connected by strong soór links, then it can be assumed a spell of the third sphere has been cast.

All cár’áll have what is called an Anar’oún, or a dominating element. This Anar’oún is often critical in determining the success of a spell, because most spells rely heavily on getting an anar’oún into position. In the example Xeuágram, you see that the dominating element is quite obviously water. Xeuágrams can be helpful in deciding how difficult a spell will be to cast on a certain cár’áll, because if a mage wished to make the anar’oán in this cár’áll to fire, for example, he or she would need more will to do this as opposed to just say increasing the fire oún around it. Xeuágrams often aid mages in thus deciding the best way to get a desired effect.
« Last Edit: 09 February 2013, 22:19:32 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: 01 January 2012, 05:41:30 »

Hi there Rayne! I'm about to go out for the evening so I haven't had a chance to read the whole entry, just quickly scanned it. Have you taken a look at the Ounia & Expression of Properties entry? I have to leave momentarily and don't have the time to find/link it, but it should be a couple of threads below this one I think. I thought that might be something you may wish to take a look at - it might have some relevance here as well. :)
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« Reply #2 on: 01 January 2012, 06:32:30 »

I remember the entry from a long time ago.

Unfortunately, Coren and I have slightly different philosophies about Ximaxian magic, and more unfortunately, he is not here to discuss with me about how oun should be expressed or the role xeua should play in supporting that expression.

Depending on what discussions arise from this, we may need to discuss, create, and modify the metaphors we use to discuss magic. I feel Coren's metaphor is more like an electrical circuit, while mine is more of a web. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts, as well as the thoughts of others, on this matter.
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« Reply #3 on: 03 January 2012, 05:57:18 »

Hi Rayne :) I really wanted to respond to this tonight (I made notes!), but ran out steam after commenting in the properties discussion. May I take a rain-check and come back to this later this week?
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« Reply #4 on: 18 May 2012, 01:04:28 »

Are there any lingering issues with this entry? The Xeuá entry on the site is so out of date, and really needs to be replaced!
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« Reply #5 on: 22 May 2012, 01:02:55 »

 
Quote
In opposition to this latter activity is Ecuá (Styrásh for "breaking", "disconnecting"), which is often viewed as the opposite of Xeuá.

There is a lot of redundancy in this sentence.

-The concept of breathing I think need to be explained a bit more.  While I agree that xeua links attempt to move towards a certain state and that if certain stimuli are introduced this can switch, I don't agree with the rest of the way you phrase the concept.  If a xeua link is 'naturally' ahm or soor, its not going to flick sporadically to the opposite on its own accord.  It requires an additional stimulus to drive it to do so.

-I really like your descriptions of Ahm and Soor.  You make the concepts very easy to understand.

Quote
be the same amount of Ahm and Soór links in a cár’áll.

I think number would be a better word here than amount.

Quote
they are difficult to know and control without a firm knowledge of the tendencies

I find the word "know" here to be a bit confusing.

-I personally don't completely agree with how you view Sphere II and III but I think its more a matter of opinion so it should be fine to post on site.

-Decide if Xeuagram is going to be 1 word or 2.  You use both.

Quote
For example, If oún of the same element are made bigger and more defined than the other Oún,

random capitalization here.

Other than that looks great as always.  This will be a wonderful addition to the next update



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« Reply #6 on: 22 May 2012, 04:45:51 »

It's Drasil again who stops by, showing up every few months or so ;) How's it going? Any chance to stick around? Got news on Dourin's Grovegrin
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« Reply #7 on: 22 May 2012, 08:31:35 »

I just got back from school and have a week or so until my internship starts so I thought I'd pop in and see what was going on.  Rayne's entries always interesting so I thought I'd so some light reading.

Hrm...Perhaps.  I had forgotten about that.  Let me see if I can find the draft that I had.
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« Reply #8 on: 29 May 2012, 04:32:28 »

Read it all again now and it looks pretty good, Rayne! A good deal is already on site and wasn't changed that much, but I gather the meta-states are new and the explanations of the spheres, and various other descriptions. I think it's pretty clear and thorough now, as clear and thorough as it can be, and it is very well explained for those trying to really dig into the whole magic stuff. So it all looks right to me and I give it the Artimidorian stamp of approval. *stamp* Aura+1!

A few notes on some minor things:

- At the first sentence I would suggest to also add/start with that this is according to the elven worldview, which was adapted by Ximaxian mages and that the entry deals with both. Just so everybody knows the premisses on which the entry is based.

- Xeuá should always be written with a capital letter in an entry about that subject. Ahm and Soór I guess should be always written ahm and soór, as we also write cár'áll throughout.

- Hmmm... Principles of Xeuá: Currently we've obviously only got one unless we find another one. But as it is it could be made the "Principle of Xeuá".

- A few things to fix:

Quote
...it doesn’t necessarily mean that the element makes up most of an entity's cár’áll...

Quote
For example, in many objects have the tendency to get cold or hot

Quote
This means it is easy for a mage to make the rock hotter or colder, since the meta-state is active, open to to change

Quote
The metastate of the xeuá that link to the wind property of lightness is likely (I assume that's what you mean) to be ahm within the cár'áll.
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« Reply #9 on: 05 September 2012, 15:17:55 »

Changes integrated. I've colored all the but ones involving capitalization of xeua or lower-casing of soor and ahm. Let me know if there's anything else that looks amiss or anything else I can help with!
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« Reply #10 on: 05 September 2012, 15:20:11 »

Looking forward to reading it tonight! Great to see you back :)
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« Reply #11 on: 06 September 2012, 03:13:03 »

Guess this should do it, so ready for integration now!  thumbup  cool
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« Reply #12 on: 06 September 2012, 04:42:42 »

Art, I have a few comments/changes. I'll post later tonight.
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« Reply #13 on: 06 September 2012, 23:23:35 »

First and foremost, this is an excellent entry! It's comprehensible, concise and written with great skill. I think this is a great step towards giving structure and transparency to the mass of material we have on site. :)

Comments

Quote
Meta-states
For example, many objects have the tendency to get cold or hot--like a rock left outdoors.The meta-state of the Xeuá that link to the fire and water properties of temperature is soór within the cár'áll. This means it is easy for a mage to make the rock hotter or colder, since the meta-state is active, open to change. However, it’s not natural for rocks to float. The metastate of the Xeuá that link to the wind property of lightness is likely to be ahm within the cár'áll. This means that it is hard to make the rock float, since the meta-state is inactive, closed to change. If a mage manages to change this meta-state, making it soór, the rock is more likely to float, and we say it has been ‘enchanted’ (it is now an enchanted floating rock). It should be noted, though, that meta-states are extremely difficult to change.

See also:

Quote
Sphere III: The mage must change the meta-state of the Xeuá  to soór, or active, in order to bring the oún into the cár’áll.

1) Following your terminology in the Enchantments entry, I believe 'soor' should read 'ecuan'? (From Enchantments: "meta-state can either be xeuán (permanent) or ecuán (impermanent; transient)")

2) I just want to take a moment to say that I'm really glad that you are undertaking these revisions, Rayne. I can't think of a better person to lead these discussions. hug

I think one of our shared aims for the "Ximaxian Revision Project" was to render the concepts easier to follow and the way they are presented less confusing. I therefore wonder whether it would be more helpful to move away from "xeuan/ecuan and/or soor/ahm"-based terminology for the meta-states, and instead coin two new Styrash terms? Maybe something based on "transience"?

Maybe it's just me, but I find referring to meta-states as "xeuan/ecuan" (or soor/ahm for that matter) confusing.


Quote
Principle of Xeuá

Conservation of Voice: This law relates to the amount of ahm and soór links within a cár’áll, more specifically how much “speaking” there will be in a cár’áll. It states “Always will a harmony exist between ahm and soór in the form of equality.” This means that there will always be the same amount of ahm and soór links in a cár’áll. There will never be a case in which all the links in a person’s cár’áll are all ahm or all soór. As soon as one Xeuá goes from being ahm to soór, another will go from soór to ahm. In this manner, all things are balanced.

3) A question I don't know the answer to: Does the Conversation of Voice principle dictate that the number of soor and ahm links be "equal" (1:1) or does it simply require that the "balance" between ahm/soor remain constant, whatever proportion that balance might actually be. Say it's 2:1 - the moment one link switches 'on', another must switch off to maintain that same 2:1 ratio.

I ask because something occurred to me when I read your "Fabric of the Dream" entry: Given that everything is connected to everything else, wouldn't a particular carall have a much greater number of ahm (inactive) links than soor links?


Quote
Xeuá, the connections between every oún, are what makes spells work. Ounía are generally easier to focus on, and so most Ximaxian mages start with the ounía and move out from there. However, when casting a spell, nothing about the ounía in a cár’áll changes. They don’t become bigger or smaller, more or less active, louder or quieter. They remain the same; what changes is the quality of the Xeuá connecting them.

4) This is certainly one way of looking at it, but I think here may be something we don't see eye to eye on. To my mind, both ounia and xeua links can be altered, whereas you propose that magical effects come through solely through manipulation of xeua links. (For a quick recap of my take on this, please see "Ounia & Expression of Properties", especially the 'Summary' and 'Expression of Properties' sections.)

Could we please discuss this? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

A few observations:

  • There is no inherent reason to follow one view over the other. I think it comes down to a development decision.
  • Both views could co-exist: One would represent the "orthodoxy" and the other the views of a dissident theorist.
  • We need to remember that whatever goes into these "building blocks" entries will become the orthodox theory. Any other entries already on site should be revised accordingly: either altered to reflect the orthodoxy, or turned into a 'pamphlet/library' format and presented as the views of an "eccentric academic".
  • Should we take the "either ounia or xeua links" method as the base, as it gives us more options down the road?
Once again: A tremendous accomplishment! Thanks for taking the time to revise Xeua.


Typos
- ahm ("responding"), "passive" and soór ("talking", "active")

- Ximaxian mages and scholars generally prefer to neglect these tendencies, claiming that the "breathing shifts"

- A suggestion: "resulting in making the object more solid" ---> maybe the verb 'freeze' could be used to mirror 'melting' under the principle of ahm? Something along the lines of 'resulting in the water freezing'?
-Xeuá, the connections between every oún, are what makes (---> make, Xeua being plural here) spells work.

- This is done exclusively in the archschool --> should this be 'archshools', given Xeua and Ecua?

- Xeuágrams often aid mages in thus deciding the best way to get a desired effect ---> Xeuágrams thus often aid mages in thus deciding the best way to get a desired effect
« Last Edit: 12 September 2012, 02:57:02 by Coren FrozenZephyr » Logged

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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #14 on: 06 September 2012, 23:50:50 »

I found something that perhaps could be formulated into another Principle of Xeua. The passage below comes from "Ounia & Expression of Properties", although the concept itself was taken from one of Arti's original entries:


Quote
Link direction: who speaks to whom?

The Theory of Ahm and Soor, of communicating and responding, implies four different ways of linking. One may draw a line from X to Y, or from Y to X, or in both directions, or do a simple line without any arrows. Let X be the Property of “passion” in a fire oun and Y the Property of “clarity” in a wind oun.

(i)   X-->Y: X “speaks to” (acts upon) Y which listens (reacts) but does not respond back; you suddenly feel very passionate about clarity.

(ii)   X<--Y: Y “speaks to” (acts upon) X which listens (reacts) but does not respond; you feel you are clear on what it is you are passionate about.

(iii)   X<->Y: Dialogue – X & Y hold a conversation. They both speak and respond; X & Y mutually influence each other. You are clear about where your passions lie and you are passionate about achieving clarity.

(iv)   X---Y: Silence – neither X nor Y speak; they both listen. The link is neutral. Neither passion nor clarity manifests in the carall.
« Last Edit: 06 September 2012, 23:53:08 by Coren FrozenZephyr » Logged

"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
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